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I'm traveling from the US, through Munich Airport, to connect to another flight to Turkey. What exactly is checked when going through passport control in the Munich Airport?

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What passport do you hold? –  MeNoTalk Oct 6 '13 at 15:14
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Are you leaving the airport? Usually you'll be in special transit areas so your passport won't need to be checked there. I think (-: –  hippietrail Oct 6 '13 at 16:55
    
Are both flights on the same ticket? –  karancan Oct 6 '13 at 18:56
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2 Answers 2

You are transferring from a flight from a non-Schengen location to a flight to a non-Schengen location. Your passport will be checked, so you need to have it and a valid visa if necessary. You may need to have a copy of the documents that you needed to obtain the visa, such as your ticket or boarding pass for your onward flight (proof of onward travel). There are two cases when changing airplanes inside the Schengen area:

  1. If the airport where you are transferring has an international zone which you will not leave, you need a transit visa (unless exempt).
  2. Otherwise, you need a visitor visa (single-entry is enough).

The official information from the German embassy is that Munich has an international area, so you only need a transit visa at most unless you want to get out of the airport.

Whether you need a transit visa depends on your nationality. USA citizens don't need one; Turkish citizens generally do. However, if you are Turkish (or from a number of other countries) and hold a valid visa or residence permit for the US (or if your US visa expired less than 4 days ago) then you do not need a transit visa.

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Wow, I didn't realize there is something like airport transit visa! Note that it seems to be different from a normal transit visa (and probably easier to obtain). –  Grzenio Oct 8 '13 at 14:55
    
@Grzenio AFAIK the airport transit visa is the only kind of transit visa in Germany (as in most of Schengen). Anything else requires a regular visitor visa (which may be only valid for the expected transit time). Other places have different types of transit visas, for example I believe Lithuania has land transit visas to cross between Kaliningrad and the rest of Russia. –  Gilles Oct 8 '13 at 15:28
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Munich airport allows International to International transfers without having to pass through passport control.

There are however a small number of countries that may require a visa to pass through the airport, even if you are not going through passport control - and that includes Turkish citizens.

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I've changed planes in Munich between London and Venice (so international to international but perhaps not nonSchengen to nonSchengen) and had to line up for passport control. –  Kate Gregory Oct 6 '13 at 21:21
    
@KateGregory Yes, that's probably because of the Schengen aspect, Germany and Italy were part of it from the start. Did you go through passport control in Venice? Usually Schengen flights have other gate numbers (it can be in the same terminal, with two parallel but separate corridors – Schengen and non-Schengen – or some such arrangement) and no passport check at arrival. –  Relaxed Oct 6 '13 at 21:46
    
@KateGregory You weren't an international-to-international transfer. Intra-Schengen flights don't count as international for this purpose; immigration control is done at your point of entry into the Schengen area. –  Gilles Oct 6 '13 at 22:55
    
I think especially for someone travelling from the US to Turkey the word International is too vague. England, Germany, and Italy are different countries to non-Europeans and the nonSchengen thing needs to be explained. –  Kate Gregory Oct 7 '13 at 10:08
    
I think it also depends on if you're arriving and departing from the same terminal. I doubt that you can transit between the two terminals without going through immigration. –  Tor-Einar Jarnbjo Oct 7 '13 at 13:09
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